How to Properly Measure a Spring:

There is a lot of bad about information on how to measure a spring. For example: The best way to way to measure is eye to eye. While this may seem to be the easiest, it is not accurate. The measurement you get is only good as long as the spring stays at that arch. As a spring flexes up and down, the distance between the eyes changes. A 48 Inch (measured the correct way) with a 6 Inch arch will measure 46-3/4 Inches eye to eye. The same spring with a 3 Inch arch will have an eye to eye measurement of 47-3/4 Inches. Also if you would like your axle to be in the right spot, the location of the center-bolt is very important. Measuring eye to eye will not tell where the center-bolt is located and the chances of your axle being in the right spot are not good.

So the ONLY way to measure the length of a spring is as though the spring was flat. Follow the curve of the spring measuring from the center of the front eye back to the center bolt (A). Then measure from the center of the other eye back to the center bolt (B). These measurements are called the "Divisional Length" and are indicated as 2 different lengths. Then measure down from this line to the top of the Main Plate next to the center bolt (C). (the Main Plate is the leaf with the eyes) This measurement can be positive or negative. A spring does not care which way it is bent, they will work both ways. Setting the spring upside down and measuring from the floor to the main plate or to the bottom of the spring is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. So don't even try to give us a measurement done that way. Why? Because the support for the vehicle is through the center of the eyes not on the top of the eyes. Plus steel thickness, eye sizes, eye shapes can vary. Plus, all the OEM's measure through the eyes and all our specs are through the eyes, so do it our way. Free Arch is the term used for the arch when the spring is unloaded (off the vehicle). Loaded Arch is when the spring is under load (on the vehicle with weight on the springs). To make it easy for you we have created a cheat sheet, download our Leaf Spring Measuring Form.

Never WELD a leaf spring

This question does come up from time to time for various reasons. You are correct. Your should NEVER weld to any spring. For ANY reason. Here is our official answer when it comes to welding on or near your springs:


Any welding and/or weld splatter onto a spring WILL cause a stress riser which WILL cause breakage. Heat generated during the welding process WILL cause spring failure, (There are special high cost welding rods which do allow for welding on leaf springs. However it is not a simple process. There is no need to even consider this process.) Suspensions must be treated as a safety item. The failure of a suspension or suspension part can result in catastrophic damage. If welding needs to be performed in an area of your vehicle near a spring, you must either remove the spring from the vehicle before welding, or take proper precautions that the spring does not come in contact with either the heat generated from welding, or any weld splatter. If you feel you wish to weld to a spring. Please contact us first, we will help you find the proper procedure to accomplish what you wish, without doing so. Welding to a spring endangers the health and well being not only of your vehicle, but also you and your family.

Will Springs Settle?

All springs will settle over time, however I believe the better question is “How much will springs settle shortly after being installed?” The answer is very little providing the springs are the right springs for the vehicle. Springs support weight and this is why it is so very important to be honest about the changes made to the vehicle. For every change there can be a change in the amount of weight the springs will be required to carry. Another function of rear leaf springs is to control axle windup which occurs both on acceleration and braking. So engine size, torque and horsepower may come into play. Standard design stepping may be alright or if the power is such special stepping may be required. Correctly manufactured springs, both leaf and coil, are shot peened which removes stresses in the metal which occurs during the heat-treating process. The life of the spring is not only increased because of shot peening, the spring will not continue to take to settle once it is installed.

While getting the overall stance correct will be one of the final steps in building the vehicle, planning for it must happen early in the building process. Getting that look can be tricky but most of the time it can be achieved. Because springs support weight, the final look of the vehicle cannot be achieved until the vehicle is 99.98 percent done. Remember all those parts which are waiting to be installed have weight. And the location of those parts determine how that weight will be carried by the suspension. Having you and your 4 buddies stand on the front bumper does not distribute the weight in the same fashion as an installed engine and tranny does. Other areas to watch for trouble include;

- Clearances - the look might be right but things are hitting underneath
- Steering - the look may be nice but you can't turn the wheel.
- Ride quality - the look may be nice but it rides like a buckboard.

The vehicle being built is custom. Things are being done to it and for it that were not originally designed for it. More than once you will install, remove, tweak, re-install, re-remove, re-tweak and repeat the process over and over to get it Just Right. And the springs are no different; they may have to be installed more than once to get the stance Just Right. The final test of the springs is driving the car like you stole it. Work those springs. Bounce them. Flex them. Stomp on the gas. Stand on the brakes. Make them do their job; after all you built the vehicle to have fun, so go have some. So how much settling is very little? Correctly matched springs will settle no more than 1/4 to 1/2 Inch once the car is finished and driven. Any more than that means something is not right. By the way, leaf springs will not settle any more than coil springs, nor will coil springs settle any more than leaf springs. Where do things go wrong with springs that settle too much too soon? Bottom line is over 99% of all spring problems are either installation related or a result of the customer not being honest about the changes made to the vehicle or making more changes once the springs have been built. Springs that continue to settle quickly after they have been installed are over-stressed springs. Over-stressing is only caused by too much weight on the springs. Moving on, all springs have a finite life; meaning one day they will break. How long this life is depends on their use, the loads they have been asked to carry, the roads driven on, how the vehicle and the suspension are maintained. Any leaf that is broke at the axle shows that the u-bolts have become loose. And once one leaf breaks other leafs will also began breaking.

Are Blocks Safe?

Blocks are a cheap, down and dirty, quick way to raise or lower a vehicle, but they are not the best way. The use of blocks is the leading cause of axle wind-up and poor vehicle handling. A vehicle is most stable when the spring seat at the axle is closest to a line drawn between the front and rear eye of the spring. As the distance between the spring seat and this line increases, so does axle wind-up. The more the axle rotates because of axle wind up, the less stable the vehicle will be. For these reasons we do not recommend the use of blocks to change the ride height of any vehicle. True, the Big 3 have used blocks on the rear of some trucks for many years, but pay close attention to the next one you see traveling down the road. Notice how the axle attempts to twist. This twisting happens on all vehicles as they accelerate and brake. However, the twisting is much more severe on block-equipped vehicles. Also notice blocks are no longer used by these manufacturers. But if you still would like blocks we can make them for you. They are made from solid steel and we charge by the height inch. (We are NOT responsible for vehicle handling).

When replacing springs should you replace the old parts too?

Great springs can make or break a ride. But great springs mean nothing if they are held on by old parts. U-Bolts in particular need to achieve the correct torque in order for your suspension to perform as needed. And if the shackle threads are stripped or any rubber parts are aged and cracked, then no spring will perform as well as required. So do yourself a favor and keep your attaching parts fresh and adjusted correctly.

Can a broken leaf cause an accident?

Yes it can. Depending on which leaf it is and where it breaks and does the broken leaf stay in the spring pack or not. So don't mess around, replace broken springs ASAP.

Can we order springs from Valley Spring Service?

Sure, we're not all fun and games, we also manufacture springs designed to replace your original equipment springs with factory designed leaf spring. Want a better ride, stronger hauling, or maybe both? We can redesign springs from the original specifications to fit your requirements.

Great! How Do I Order?

Ordering from us is easy, as long as you have some information ready. You can either call us at 1-602-275-0445, email us with the appropriate information, or check out our new limited ordering form.

What Should I Have Ready Before I Call/Email/Order?

Have this information at the ready and you could potentially order brand new, custom fitting springs for your vehicle in mere minutes.
- Year
- Make
- Model
- Body Style
- Engine Size
- Transmission Type
- Air Conditioned or not
- Any Modifications made to the vehicle
- Standard or Heavy-Duty Suspension
- And if you want stock height or modified

Can we order Bushings from Valley Spring Service?

You sure can!

Great! How Do I Order?

Ordering from us is easy, as long as you have some information ready. You can either call us at 1-602-275-0445 or email us with the appropriate information.

What Should I Have Ready Before I Call/Email/Order? Use the Bushing Request Form.

Can we order U-Bolts from Valley Spring Service?

You sure can!

Great! How Do I Order?

Ordering from us is easy, as long as you have some information ready. You can either call us at 1-602-275-0445 or email us with the appropriate information.

What Should I Have Ready Before I Call/Email/Order? Use the U-Bolt Order Form

U-Bolt Torque Guide

A good read about U-Bolt Torque Click Here

Ride Control Defined

For a good read about ride control Click Here